COUNTING MY BLESSNGS

Not a creature was stirring. Not even the Cat

    As the Holidays grow closer and closer, I have mixed emotions. Some happy. Some sad

Happy, because it is my favorite time of the year… a time when families are closer and the bond is renewed. …When bells are ringing, and familiar music is heard everywhere. …When cheerful faces are smiling. …When we share with another, the joys of the season.

Sad, because I miss those who have gone and are no longer present at the gathering of our family, although they remain close in each of our hearts; never to be forgotten. Sad because there are others who are in need and who struggle to fill empty stomachs and spend what little they have for their family. 

It is a time to count one’s blessings.

 I am blessed and want to thank my followers for helping me become a better writer, and for the insight so many of you have, which has certainly helped me this year.

 I am blessed for my family, who keep me going, day after day, month after month, with their love, encouragement, and guidance.

 I am blessed every day as I watch my grandsons and my granddaughter mature into honorable young people.

I am blessed by all the wonders of the earth we live on, the opportunities given us, and that I am without want.

So to all, I wish you a happy Holiday and a happy New Year. …PAULA

THE FIRST CHRISTMAS

Xmas.jpgTHE FIRST CHRISTMAS

The first recorded Christmas was in 336 during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was the first Christian Emperor. However, for the first 300 years of Christianity, it was not so. A few years later, Pope Julius 1 officially proclaimed the birth date of Jesus would be forever on the 25th of December. Many asked: Why are the colors of Christmas Red, Green, and Gold?

Evergreen plants were used for thousands of years during the long winters. Romans exchanged branches as a sign of good luck. Red symbolized the apples on  the trees, and also is the color of holly berries. It is also the color of Bishop Robes, which later became Santa’s uniform.  Gold is the color of the sun and light Gold was one of the presents brought to the baby Jesus by one of the wise men                                                  

Menorah.jpg    HANUKKAH, FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

The Jewish Festival of Lights is the rededication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, the first being destroyed by Antiochus, King of Greece, about 200 BC because he wanted all Jews to follow the Greek way of life and religion. He desecrated the most holy place in the temple and destroyed the Jewish holy scrolls.  Three years later, the Temple was rebuilt and rededicated to God.

Questions were asked: Why celebrate for eight nights? Rumor has it there after the dedication of the rebuilt temple, there was only enough oil to burn a candle for one night, but it miraculously burned for eight nights. Each night one light on  the Menorah is lit to thank God and ask for his blessing. Hanukkah is celebrated from late November to late December, because the Jewish calendar is lunar ,beginning before Jesus was born. Sometimes, Hanukkah and Christmas are celebrated on or near December 25th.

At this time, I want to wish all a happy Holiday, and hope you can celebrate with family, friends and those most precious to you, and together, enjoy all the wonders of the season.

Warm wishes, from my family to yours, Paula